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sculpture referral fees

updated sat 28 oct 00


Susan Hubele on fri 27 oct 00

Hello there,

I have been reading Clayart posts for about a year
and really appreciate the broad range of questions
and responses.

I created salt-glazed fountains. I've made up a
brochure and left it at garden shops, and with
architects and interior designers.

I am seeking advice about commissions. Here are
two basic situations:

1. A person comes into a garden shop, looking for
a specific fountain. The shop gives them my
brochure. The client calls me and wants me to
create a fountain for their new home. What percent
should I pay the garden shop as a referral fee?

2. An interior designer or architect connects me
with one of their clients who commission a series
of fountains for their coffee shops. I will
probably be working closlely with the interior
designer regarding specs and installation. What
percent should I pay the interior

I would really appreciate any responses to these
two questions.

Thanks so much.
Susan Hubele
Box 906
Cochrane, Alberta
Canada T0L 0W0

T: (403) 932.2470
F: (403) 932.9233

View Susan's ceramic art:

Stephani Stephenson on fri 27 oct 00

Hi susan
Some of the first paragraph of this post is probably repetitive for
you, but I thought I would say it for those who are brand new to
gallery/shop relationships!
If you sell fountains through a store/gallery /showroom and someone
sees your work there, and then contacts you , I would recommend making
the sale through the shop. As you probably already know, if an artist
makes a habit of bypassing the shop where work is displayed, word gets
around fast. So if the artist values the business relationship with the
gallery or shop they need to be ethical about honoring the
relationship. Sometimes it gets a little tough to assess how direct the
link is, but just be honest about it.

If a shop refers someone to you for custom work and their only
involvement is the referral , 3% - 10% referral fee is customary,
though I would also like to hear from others on the going rate.
Sometimes this information is written into a gallery /shop contract.

As for working with designers and architects. If you are selling them
stock pieces, a 10% discount is customary to a design professional.
Sometimes 15%. Sometimes 0%. Quite often the architects and designers
simply add your fee onto their client's bill, so they make their money
regardless of the discount you give them.. Designers and architects
usually understand quite well that you need to make money on your work,
so you should not feel too obligated to give them a deep discount on
stock work.

If it is custom work, you should submit a bid to them, and the bid will
be higher than stock work. Be sure to factor in time you will spend
designing, going over specs, calling, meeting, visiting the site,
changing things if they change the design, etc. etc.
Custom work for other professionals is not cut rate work so don't sell
your work short.

The only time we give a deeper discount is if the designer or architect
comes to the studio and shops the boneyard, selecting pieces and paying
on the spot. We have a couple of designers that do that and they are
great. They come and put together eclectic combinations, and also help
clear the studio of odd remnants that tend to accumulate.

It is customary to ask for a deposit on custom work, usually 50% up
front and 50% upon completion.
Design professionals work on a deposit system as well, so, they are
quite able to pass it on to you for you work.

Also shipping/delivery costs are the responsibility of the client.Upon
completion , figure out the shipping or delivery then add that to the
final 50% balance due payment, which is paid upon delivery. With long
time clients we extend a 30 day period for payment of the balance due,
but with new clients you may be wise to insist on payment on or even
before delivery.

Working with design professionals can be very rewarding, and a good
source of income, though we all have an occasional story of the client
from Hell!
best wishes in your endeavor.

Stephani Stephenson
Leucadia CA

P.S. My spellcheck save of the day.....showroom wiuthout an H is
sowroom. Would have slipped by. probably not a good marketing